Saturday, September 21, 2013

Alta Via 2 - Day 2 - Refugio Plose to Refugio Genova

Wednesday - August 28, 2013

We rise early to catch the sunrise but sunrise is not going to happen. The Rifugio is completely engulfed in clouds, we can hardly see as far as the railing on the patio some 10 feet ahead of us.

We wait hoping the weather will clear and around 9:00 a.m. a blue patch appears to the west. By 9:30 we are on our way. Our group grows, we adopt Cody and Jackie, the couple from Colorado and Tal from Israel. Together we decide to make a bit of a detour and head up route 7 (the traditional Alta Via 2 follows trails #2 and later #4 down to the valley) wishing for some views. We take few shots at a viewpoint half way to the top of Galer Peak, and looking up where the trail vanishes in the thick clouds we collectively agree to make or way down and reconnect with #4. Our off-trail wandering gives us an opportunity to get close to heard of horses and score some great photos.

Once reconnected with trail #4 we follow it through a forest down towards the bottom of the valley. There is a short aided section here, it might come handy if the trail is wet and slippery, none of us uses it today, except for some funny photos.

We hit the road at the bottom of the valley at 12:30, after a 20 minute lunch break at a scenic spot little higher on the trail. The road walk takes about 20 minutes, one can jump on the trail #4 paralleling the road to the left, it seems muddy and drops elevation a bit so we decide to take the road until we hit the intersection where #4 takes off to the right towards the gully leading up to Forcella De PĂștia.

The gully gains around 1,500 ft, the trail gets little steep at spots but mostly follows reasonable grade, the path is well defined with no exposure. 

It's 14:20 when we top up at the pass. The views are incredible, wood cabins nested in the lush green slopes, tall mountains in the background, their peaks hidden in stormy clouds. There is a via ferrata route nearby which one can take to the top of Sass PĂștia, we wish to give it a try, but the low clouds and soft drizzle make us abandon the idea.

Instead we start heading towards Refugio Genova, the home for today. It's easy going on the nearly flat path, the surroundings remind us of Scottland, lots of rounded grassy, rocky slopes. 

Refugio Genova, wooden cabin amidst the scenery of green meadows and high rocks. The room is cozy, little cold to my liking, but two blankets each bed is furnished with should take care of that. The dining area is spacious and offers a sort of sunroom with a view. We secure a table here, and joined by our Colorado friends, Israeli friends (coincidentally we meet yet another guy from Israel here), and three Germans we met at Plose we enjoy the evening engaged in another lively conversation. 

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